Coming soon....: Galeria Augustine taking off in Lisbon





Carry-on Baggage’ at Galeria Augustine – Lisbon, Portugal



Contemporary British artists fly to Lisbon, for a cheeky exhibition of work they have packed in their cabin baggage!


What exceptional times! First Brexit, then the pandemic, and now war in Ukraine and the cost-of-living crisis… But, despite travel difficulties, people are on the move again. We want to get away and have adventures, experience historic and contemporary culture in Europe and beyond, take pics and post. 


The Venice Biennale and the big international art fairs with their mega galleries are back. Unfortunately though, if you are a British artist or emerging gallery, Brexit has made transporting artwork for European exhibitions more bureaucratic and more expensive, putting an unwelcome brake on cultural exports. 


Opening on 31st October, 2022, Galeria Augustine is a new gallery in the Graça area of central Lisbon.The inaugural exhibition, ‘Carry-on Baggage’, proposes a simple and fun get-away weekend for artists and art lovers. ‘Carry-on Baggage’ is a gesture of resilience and conceptual tease.


Invited artists book a weekend break flight to Lisbon and pack a piece of artwork in their carry-on baggage. When they arrive at Galeria Augustine, they hang their piece salon style. The exhibition will evolve organically as artwork comes and goes and gets bought, with visiting buyers taking their artwork home in their own carry-on baggage. In a spirit of freedom, artists are invited to pack and bring any work of their choosing.


Galeria Augustine is located in Graça, an exciting neighbourhood on top of one of Lisbon’s seven hills that attracts a cool young Portuguese and international crowd with its views, bars and restaurants, and the emerging art scene. 


The gallery is headed by director Ben Austin. Ben had a gallery in London’s East End in the noughties, in the early days of Banksy and Antony Micallef, and he has since curated numerous exhibitions in London, Art Basel Miami and Portugal. Ben comments, «I’m thrilled Galeria Augustine, in the up-and-coming Graça area of Lisbon, will be contributing to cultural dialogue between the UK and Portugal, the two members of Europe’s oldest alliance.»


Lisbon is a stunning city to explore, with cultural landmarks such as the Gulbenkian Collection, Gothic Jerónimos Monastery, Berardo Collection and more recent MAAT, a museum of art, architecture and technology, designed by British architect Amanda Levete. 


Lisbon also has several excellent contemporary commercial galleries: Vera Cortês, Balcony, Cristina Guerra, Carlos Carvalho, and for Urban art Underdogs Gallery, with mural pieces by urban artists such as Vhils, Add Fuel and Bordalo II dotted around the city. 


The exhibition raises a number of important questions. We are invited to reflect on the emotional baggage we all carry around. What is the weight of this baggage? And how can we travel lighter?Solitary or accompanied, our journey with its chance encounters, existential waiting and physical movement through space and time, leads us to an often unpredictable destination. 


‘Carry-on Baggage’ looks at the pace of contemporary life, the process and impact of transportation, for business and pleasure, in the post-COVID era. Mass tourism has an ambivalent social impact on historic European cities, such as Lisbon: a boost for aspects of the local economy, it equally hikes up property values for the benefit of wealthier foreigners, while forcing out local families as areas become gentrified. In Lisbon, the clatter of wheelie carry-on travel cases crossing cobblestones competes with the strains of Fado. 


What is the price of our collective desire to explore, experience, document and share? After a European summer of heat waves, raging fires and drought, even in the UK, the exhibition asks serious questions about the future of fossil fuels, the environmental implications of air travel and our own responsibility towards the planet.


Invited participating artists will include well-established names, mid-career and emerging artists. The exhibition ‘Carry-on Baggage’ will be accompanied by a series of events and dinners and run through until the end of 2022. 


In addition to ‘Carry-On Baggage’ will be the exhibition:


New Discoveries – Young Portuguese Painters


‘New Discoveries’ is a capsule exhibition in the downstairs gallery space at Galeria Augustine, featuring emerging Portuguese artists, that will compliment and create a dialogue with British artists exhibiting upstairs as part of the ‘Carry-On Baggage’ exhibition.


‘New Discoveries’ showcases fresh Portuguese talent in a European city, Lisbon, until relatively recently dwarfed culturally by capitals such as London and Paris that had spearheaded the great Modernist movements of the early 20thcentury. From 1933 to 1974, Portugal lived under Salazar’s Estado Novo dictatorship. Artists, writers and intellectuals were viewed with suspicion at best, with culture censured by the state. On April 25, 1974, the Carnation Revolution in Lisbon peacefully put an end to the regime.


‘New Discoveries’ explores the state of contemporary art in Portugal, only in recent decades allowed to flourish, and looks at next generation artists, expressing today’s attitudes and concerns, and picking up the baton of contemporary Portuguese painting, in the footsteps of the late, great Anglophile, Paula Rego.


Artists to be confirmed.


 Exhibition opening and gallery launch  

Monday 31st October, 2022.


'New Arrivals' event to be confirmed.



Ben Austin

Gallery Director


tel: 00 351 910 771 918, UK: 07703 185291




Gallery address

Rua Leite de Vasconcelos 3A

1170-197 Lisbon


Instagram: galeria_augustine